New dietary considerations for type 2 diabetes….
Flavonoids and flavanols, naturally found in plants, have been touted to provide health benefits to those who eat them. Some research supports the possibility that flavonoids/flavanols could provide antioxidant effects and may modify carcinogens, allergens, viruses and inflammation. The most commonly "advertised" foods associated with the benefits of flavonoids/flavanols are wine, tea, fruit, and vegetables. Lignans, typically found in plants such as flax seed, berries, vegetables, etc., have also been linked to improved health such as anti-cancer activity, weight loss, etc. Recently, European researchers looked at flavonoid and lignan intake as it relates to the incidence of type 2 diabetes development.
Data from a case-cohort study, European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-InterAct, was used to assess any association between flavonoid and lignan ingestion and type 2 diabetes incidence. The study included 12,403 incident cases of type 2 diabetes along with a stratified sub-cohort of 16,154 participants from 340,234; data included participant’s baseline dietary intake of flavonoid and lignan from validated dietary questionnaires of 8 European countries. Prentice-weighted Cox regression models/regression models showed an inverse relationship between type 2 diabetes incidence and flavonoid intake, HR for highest vs. lowest quintile was 0.90 with 95% CI 0.77–1.04 and P value trend = 0.040. The same was not true for lignans (HR= 0.88, 95% CI 0.72–1.07; P value trend = 0.119). In the subclasses of flavonoids: flavanols, flavonols and flavan-3-ol monomers were all found to be significantly associated with reduced incidence of type 2 diabetes.
This study shows some trends in decreased incidence of type 2 diabetes with increased intake of flavonoids which may point to a protective effect from eating these foods. However, it would be interesting to see further stratification of diets to see if those who developed type 2 diabetes ate a more carbohydrate/sugar latent diet as compared to those with increased flavonoid intake which is primarily found in fruits and vegetables. In any case, consumption of fruits and vegetables provide many health benefits and should be considered an essential part of daily diets but now maybe we should look for those with increased flavonoids.
- New research from Europe suggests that flavonoid intake may be inversely related to type 2 diabetes incidence.
- Flavonoids have also been associated with antioxidant effects and may modify carcinogens, allergens, viruses and inflammation.
- Foods that contain flavonoids/flavanols are wine, tea, fruit, and vegetables.
Zamora-Ros, R. et al. The Association Between Dietary Flavonoid and Lignan Intakes and Incident Type 2 Diabetes in European Populations The EPIC-InterAct Study. Diabetes Care. Published online before print October 15, 2013